Cuttings - May
By Mike Garofalo
Red Bluff, Tehama County, Northern California
Walls of red
lasting and scentless.
Dirty hand, callused palm,
taken in a trailer –
fruit in a basket
The cows have vanished down the road,
and the last clouds have floated away.
We sit together, the valley and me,
until only the valley remains.
(Thanks to the Taoist poet Li Po.)
stuck to dry weeds –
silent wind chimes
Under our floor,
Two Worlds - an inch apart.
The Mind is a vast Bodhi forest,
The body a Bodhi tree.
Dirt is in every cranny,
Flowers blossom, leaves fall.
The Bodhi Trees have been cut down,
The Bright Mirrors shattered.
Beginning with nothing,
Replant the trees, remake the mirrors.
Make one's mind like a mirror,
One's body like the Giving tree.
Reflect accurately and impartially;
Give fruit and shade.
- Above the Fog
twirling ceiling fan –
we doze on the cool tile.
Mother's Day –
an old man
hugs his granddaughter.
A killdeer fans its tail and peeps,
luring us away from the nest she keeps.
the scent of honeysuckle
filling the shadows.
bounce in the breeze –
a peacock shrieks.
their home is sacred
in my dog's mouth –
The force of Spring -
powerful beyond measure.
Some of my haiku poems appeared in the May-June 2004 issue of Simply Haiku.
Studying a tree
my dog and I
pause and pee.
crawls out of hole–
pond at dawn –
white ducks dip
almost invisible –
after watering ....
the Swiss chard
A flurry of gnats
on sunset breezes –
Squeezing my hand,
she said goodbye,
one last time.
Dusty cream ceiling
bowlegged black spider
Long I Ponder
Wide mind, deep feelings ...
Good weather all the week, but come the weekend
the weather stinks.
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead.
Springtime flows in our veins.
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve.
A soul is colored Spring green.
Complexity is closer to the truth.
All metaphors aside - only living beings rise up in the Springtime; dead beings stay quite lie down dead.
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time.
Fresh fruit from the tree - sweet summertime!
Gardens are demanding pets.
Shade was the first shelter.
When the Divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door.
One spring and one summer to know life's hope; one autumn and one winter to know life's fate.
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday.
Relax and be still around the bees.
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day.
Absolutes squirm beneath realities.
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back: the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky.
Dirty fingernails and a calloused palm precede a Green Thumb.
Time will tell, but we often fail to listen.
Seeing with one eye and feeling with the other does help bring things into focus.
Round things are very nice - fruit, women, the earth.
Gardening is a passion to continue, despite failure and uncertainty.
The empty garden is already full.
Gardeners learn to live in worm time, bee time, and seed time.
- Pulling Onions, by Michael P. Garofalo
Memorial Day –
tiny green plums
nestled in the leaves
hiding from the sun
The shade moves
ever so slowly –
the heat crawls past noon.
hears her last breath –
Lines of baled hay
yellowing in the sunshine –
dry May day.
A few molecules awry, madness beckons:
Flooding visions, no mind that reckons.
over and again and on ...
Close to midnight
Thunder shakes the schoolroom walls,
kids squeal, hail rattles outside the halls.
Rich or poor,
wise or foolish –
Checking the drip lines
one by one, in the sun ...
my sweat drops ...
Purple and pale blue
vetch blossoms festoon the pond;
draped by the black sky.
two points on one needle;
speaking never listening.
the First Precept
The gardens, fences,
pastures, foothills, mountains ... All
disappear in the night.
the growl of trucks
the silence of night
Up and down, up and down, up and down;
two hummingbirds fussing round and round.
candles in the wind,
Robust grape vines twine and climb
on the sagging fence that never whines.
Paint splattered art room floor
scuffed and worn from desk to door.
The cat paused
on her path of destruction –
licking her paws.
shotgun blast –
drips down the wall
telling the story,
the empty house stutters
over the sad parts
pale blue sky –
lonely meadowlark's cry.
A curvy county road
turns past three white crosses –
both hands grip the wheel.
The ominous soundtrack
fills the room –
crawling under the fence,
looking for the sun
one leg up –
the magpies hop closer.
sketched with words
perched on a page.
Beneath the pond scum
the pebble drops away.
Thousands of leaves
shake in the breeze –
"A ha!" to you may be "Ho hum" to me;
But, "A ha!" together is true poetry.
Dead at forty five, we buried him;
Alcohol and vicodin, did him in.
Steve G. 1950-1995
Somewhere in Vietnam:
a grandfather cries,
thinking of friends killed by GIs.
Touch and run ...
Tag, your It!
Playing It is fun.
Flesh to flesh
closing up the restaurant –
nitro boat races on the lake -
4000 horsepower Taps.
"May the millions and millions and millions
of women, children, elders, and men
homes, farms, orchards, animals ...
who all perished
in the endless ugly wars
All be remembered and cherished.
No thanks to all
the lock-step soldiers, warrior zealots, drugged mercenaries,
heartless politicians, and duped sheep-folks
of Nations, Religions, and War Lords
who raised their bloody flags
who cheered themselves
who called on the blessings of God and Allah and Country
who stole as they pleased
who murdered all in sight
bulldozed the dead into ditches, and
day-dreamed of building Memorials for themselves.
Are there heroes in all these tragic tales?
Where there decent, honorable and just men defending ...
They are quiet now,
Fold up some flag, bury it deep,
Plant a tree over it today:
a living sign,
a growing reminder,
of the beauty
of the productivity
of the happiness
- In Memoriam, May 26, 2008
(Starting in the Spring of 1994, more than 800,000
were massacred by Hutu tribespeople in Rwanda, Africa.)
He sliced off
her little hands –
cleaning up Rawanda.
with rotting corpses –
Hutu educational reforms.
Cuttings: March April May June July
Months and Seasons
Copyrighted © 2008 by Michael P.
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California.
All rights reserved.
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Cuttings: May Spring
Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo
First Distributed on the Internet WWW in September 1999.
The Spirit of Gardening
Quotes for Gardeners
Cuttings - Haiku, Concrete, and Short Poems by Mike Garofalo
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